Río Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One of the greatest places on earth is the city of Rio de Janeiro. People who come and go in this city just can’t get enough of it. A nice view of the entire metropolis can be seen by going up Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar). There you’ll be able to marvel at the fantastic 360-degree view of Rio and Guanabara Bay. Rio-Niteroi bridge (13,9 km long) can also be seen across the bay. The Cariocas (a name for the natives of Rio) suggest another way of having a grand view of Rio and this is through the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). The Cristo is considered one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World” and one of the famous landmarks in Rio. The harbor of Rio is so natural that it has lush, high mountains which meet the sea in the world-renowned Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

On top of the Corcovado Mountain is a higher perspective of the entire city. Getting up the mountain and the statue of Cristo Redentor is through a tram. Make sure you are at the right-hand side of the tram for an ideal view. From the top, you’ll notice that a mountain range divide Rio into four areas which are the Centro (Downtown), Zona Norte (North Zone), Zona Oeste (West zone), and the Zona Sul (South Zone).

Each of the four areas has its own pride places. Most of Rio’s attractions like the Sugar Loaf and come of the most the famous beaches are found in Zona Sul. The very popular “Maracanã” Stadium is in Zona Norte, while most of the cultural and historic places are in Centro. Maracana Stadium is a must-see for football (soccer) fanatics. Visitors can lay their feet in the imprints of those belonging to the great Pele and many other legends. Zona Oeste is comparable to Miami with its malls and beaches, and its most modern Rio Barra da Tijuca, recreation dos Bandeirantes.

The people are considered the best resource or asset of Rio. It has about 6 million inhabitants that vary in creed, color, and race. There is no one group that dominates Brazil, thus everyone is welcome in this part of the world. Cariocas are known to be warm and fun loving people.

Brazilians do understand and speak Spanish but it is not their native language so it’s a wise thing to learn a few basic Portuguese when trying to interact with the locals. But most of them will go out of their way to help a tourist through the city.

Although there are negative publicities about Rio, it still is one of the best destinations on earth. The city, like any other, is also ridden with poverty so if it is your first time to travel to Rio, it’s best to stay away from the “favelas” or slums. Also, being aware of their surroundings at all times is a precaution. If you have extra money, you can hire a driver for your safety while on tour. They can also conveniently show you that you would probably miss if you tour on your own. Bring just enough cash for the entire day and avoid flashing money or credit cards around. All these will spare you any trouble of getting pickpocketed.